I'm IT.

Ok, I was "tagged" on my friend Emily's blog, so now I have to keep this going. Except the only other person I really know with a blog is Emily, so I don't have anyone to tag after this. Ah well, a post is a welcome addition to my neglected blog, eh?

I am: going to preface this whole thing by admitting that I am bad at these sorts of lists of prompts to talk about yourself. Because there are a hundred thousand things that I am, but how do I decide what to say? It boils down to being mostly a reflection of the things that are on my mind at the moment I answer the prompts. But, whatever. Now you can have a little glimpse into my world at 9:30 a.m. on a Thursday at work. Hey, maybe I just should have said "long winded."

I think: It is crazy that a lot of people I come into contact with in my daily life are more upset, vocal, and mobilized over gay marriage (case in point: the LDS church has raised over $19m to defeat Prop 8 in California) than they are about the TWO WARS THAT HAVE BEEN RAGING FOR YEARS, IN WHICH TENS OF THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE HAVE DIED, AND CONTINUE TO DIE, EVERY DAY.

I know: very little. I'm fairly sure that all of the beauty and nuance and grace of life comes from a humble acceptance of the fact that I actually know very little. I don't have the answers, I'm not really sure there are any definite answers anyway, and I certainly don't want them even if there are. I enjoy living my way through the questions.

I dislike: "ists" and "isms." Racists/racism. Sexists/sexism. Classists/classism. Bigots. Small minded myopic judgmental assholes. Especially when said small-minded myopic judgmental assholes attempt (and they always do!) to institutionalize and/or control everyone else based upon their values/belief systems/etc. and their misguided notions that their values/belief systems are RIGHT for everyone. Hey assholes, how about you go make yourselves miserable however you see fit, and leave the rest of us alone? How about that?

I fear: more than I should. I wish I could just stop worrying about things I don't have any control over and/or things that haven't yet, and might never, transpire. But, since I can't, and I continue to worry, my main fears can be categorized under the larger umbrella of mediocrity - that I will never really become something that I am proud of (ie, freelance writer, humanitarian, citizen of the world, beholden to noone and nothing with which I disagree, self-sustaining, etc.) and that I will while away my best years working for someone else in a flourescent box at a computer that gives me headaches and ganglion cysts. That life is too short, that I will miss out on the most beautiful pleasures life has to offer like seeing grizzlies feasting on spawning salmon in the middle of nowhere, jumping out of a plane, getting hazy smelling poppies in Asia.... these are all pretty much related fears of never being able to create the kind of life I envision for myself.

I feel: as if I am being looked out for or taken care of by the Universe, or some higher power, or my dead grandma, or something. (Again, I don't purport to know the answers.) I feel abudance in my life, I feel like the things I want and need are coming to me and life is easier for the first time maybe ever. I feel incredibly grateful for these blessings, like I should send a thank you card to the Universe. THANK YOU.

I hear: and then I forget. I am the master of forgetting someone's name a nanosecond after they've said it. I listen to people's stories and dramas and prattling on and sometimes they bring it up again and its like I was never there the first time. This can get me in trouble. I need to work on my listening skills.

I smell: the stench of the Salt Lake before a storm more intensely than everyone I know in this town. Does it really not bother you all? Or are you just faking in order to make the best of it? I mean, as disgusting as that smell is, I can endure it for the mountains and snowboarding and the beauty of this place. It is definitely worth it. But seriously, it triggers my vomit reflex.

I crave: cigarettes. Though I do not smoke them. Anymore. Ok, confession time: I've been an on-and-off closet smoker since high school. Waaaay back in the closet, with the mothballs and the dusty old shoes you forgot you owned. Only my very closest girlfriends knew. Not my fam, not my acquaintances or coworkers, not my ex-boyfriend I dated for 4 years. Nobody. In retrospect, despite how careful I was and how adept I felt I'd become at masking the smell with my post-cig Orbit/Zum Rub/Aveda spray combo, I'm not sure how some of those people didn't know. No matter now, I've quit. I'm on day four without a smoke, and am incredibly proud of myself. It has not been easy. Yesterday was a DARK DAY. I cried more times than I could possibly recount. I pretty much cried all day. I took a bath to try and calm down and do something for myself, and I cried through my entire bath. So lame. But, this is the price I pay for being a fucking idiot and I deserve it. I deserve to suffer after punishing my body for so many years. I feel a bit like I've lost a dear friend though. There is a void, and I'm trying to figure out how to fill it.

I cry: a lot right now, per previous paragraph. I cry when I am angry or frustrated or thwarted in my best efforts. I cry sometimes without really knowing why. I cry when I'm overwhelmed. And I cried when I saw the Tetons for the first time, and I still cry every time I hear Damien Rice's live album. I do not, however, cry very often at movies or commercials or at times when other people are crying. And then I feel like a big insensitive beast.

I usually: am in a good mood; am an optimist; am running late; cook dinner; am nice to people even if I don't like them; curse too frequently; talk too much; could stand to hustle a bit; see the best in others; forget to brush my teeth before bed; forget a lot of things I shouldn't forget.

I wonder: about the kind of person Elise will be as an adult. Some days I wonder if I am fucking her up with every move I make. As a parent, I find it incredibly difficult to see the child that everyone else sees sometimes. I wonder if I'm too hard on her. I wonder if I should be doing more, nagging less, exercise patience more regularly. And then I wonder if it really matters. She has a stable home and a family that loves her and a big goofy dog that snuggles in her bed on weekend mornings. So that's probably enough, right?

I regret: all the times in my life that I've hurt people. Not that I ever try to hurt people, but I know there have been instances when my dumbass decisions have inadvertently hurt people. Otherwise though, I have very few regrets; every single thing I have done in my life thus far has led me to this moment, and I am fuller and happier and enjoying my life more than I ever have before.

I love: to ramble on and attempt to sound poetic and answer questions such as this with something along the lines of, "I love to watch the sunrise over the mountains," or some other such nonsense. But the truth is, I love my daughter and my dog and my family and my close friends and I can't remember the last time I woke up early enough to see the sun rise. I am likely on my way to loving someone new, but will leave it at that for now.

I care: less and less about this silly post now that I've just noticed I have about 45 more prompts to answer. Good lord. Who comes up with this stuff? However, since I've come this far, I'll attempt to remain true to form here. I care about human rights, about treating people with respect and dignity and taking care of people who are less fortunate. Call me a hippie. See if I care. (I don't.) Yes, I am the girl who will always give money to the strangers that ask for it on the train platform. And yes, I do realize they could use my money to buy crack or alcohol. But, here's where we have something I don't care AT ALL about. Because, (1) it is no longer my money, and (2) if I was homeless, I might want to smoke crack or buy a 40 oz. too. And I'd be damn pleased when a nice lady gave me a few bucks and smiled and told me good luck. And then I'd go buy a 40 oz. to numb the pain and monotony that is sleeping on a street, or in a shelter. Every. Single. Day.

I always: dislike superlatives. Sorry. Don't really have an answer for this one because there isn't something I always do. And even if I could think of something I nearly always do, if I commit it to writing you know I'll forget to do it tomorrow and fuck myself completely over.

I am not: prompt. Case in point, I began this post last Thursday morning. It is now Tuesday evening, and I'm attempting to finish this damn thing so I can post something about the ELECTION in which we will replace the moronic administration that has been steering this sinking ship of a country for the last eight years with Captain Obama. Aye Aye Sir!

I remember: three lifetimes ago when I started filling in this flipping tag-your-blogger-friends-thingie. Oh, sorry readers. Things are devolving here, I know.

I sing: a LOT. I sing in the shower, I sing in the car, I sing when I'm cleaning, I sing when I'm working, I sing to music that's playing, I sing when there's no music playing. I love to sing. And it drives Elise absolutely CRAZY. Which makes it even more fun.

I don't always: listen very well. I mentioned this already I think. Because its just that true, it requires mentioning twice. This is one of those flaws about myself that I am painfully aware of, but somehow unable to remedy with any success. I recognize it frequently, and then I think, "Ok, I MUST work on this. I suck at listening. I really appreciate good listeners, so I should try to be better at this for the people I care about in my life." And I really mean it in that moment when I have that discussion with myself. And then life creeps back in and the next time I have an opportunity to be a good listener, I inevitably fuck it up again. Ah well. Can I blame it on my parents?

I write: damn fine essays but can't come up with interesting fiction. Always been that way. It bums me out a bit, but I've come to just accept it. I'm not a fiction commer-upper. Ask me to analyze a work of literature as it relates to some particular historical moment and I'll knock your damn socks off. Ask me to tell you a bedtime story and I'll put you to sleep with my long string of "um......" Because I won't be able to think of anything. I am not necessarily creative by nature. I'm a good commenter. A pundit. I guess I can tell a story if it happened and I was there. But otherwise, it's a big empty hole in my brain where the creative writing should be, and the sad crickets chirrup in echo....echo....echo....

I win: ----Ok, I was going to say I never win anything. I don't. I'm not lucky. I can't remember ever winning anything except once at a weird TV promotion when I won a $50 gift certificate to the grocery store. Which I really needed, actually, because I was 18 and broke and writing bad checks for food so my baby didn't starve. BUT - I interrupt this rambling to report an actual win - BARACK OBAMA has won the election, and will be the 44th President of the United States of America. Now I feel like I've won something. Oh my god.

[Short interlude for sobbing tears of joy.]

I lose: In the spirit of election night, I concede defeat to this neverending post. I give up. It has been a pleasure and an honor to campaign for your respect against such an esteemed opponent. We all make mistakes in campaigns, and I'm sure I've made my share. Now I encourage all of my fellow Americans to stand in solidarity in their support of Neverending Post. Because Americans never give up, we never give in. (Except now, as I give up.) May God bless you all.

I wish:
I listen:
I can usually be found:
I am happy:

See, no need to finish. These are all nice little straightforward and true sentences. Now go drink some champagne and toast the ch-ch-ch-changes!


Do I suck or what? (or, "The Non-Post Post")

Worst blogger ever? Perhaps. As with most of the pet projects in my life, I have fallen sadly behind. And didn't I even post about how I have the internet at home now so "watchout!" cyberworld, here I come? I think I did. And haven't posted since. Because I suck.

However, I am home for lunch at the moment and downloading 8 months worth of pics off my camera. So, stay tuned for a photo-montage style Ode to Summer 2008, and another installment in the always popular My Neighbor is a Douchebag series (complete with a scanned letter the offending neighbors left for the very non-offensive neighbors who live below them). And perhaps an update on the more specific reason I've been less inclined to post these past few weeks...

Oh, and at Walgreens yesterday an irate tranny threw an irate-tranny-fit at the pharmacist for not selling her a box of syringes. Pit bull in tow (at what point did retailers stop prohibiting non-service animals? Not that I care, but really, have I missed something? Because I'm sure Rascal would love to accompany me into Walgreens rather than wait in the car), "fuck you's" flying around, man-calves and sexually ambiguous tattoos ablazin. Good times! And we all know how much I love those kinds of things.


Ode to Summer

Goodbye Summer. Though I'm sad to see you go, I really am ready to slide down some snowy mountains once again. So much I could have reported this summer and never got around to it, so I offer homage in the form of the photo montage of some of my favorite moments from the past few months.


Kelcey shakes her booty with multiple strangers at her (2nd) bachelorette party in St. Louis over Mother's Day weekend:

Elise's 11th Birthday Slumber Party, complete with 8 caffienated girls and much soda-spewing from noses. Super gross. Super fun:


Mom, my brother Matt and niece Katherine come to visit. Mom entertains us all with her mad-hula-hooping skills in the front yard. We get some photo ops on top of the SLC Library, and later, we all head to Lagoon for my work's "Lagoon Night" party. Much fun was had until Katherine puked up her dinner in the middle of a big crowd of people.

Shortly after the visit from my fam, my best friend Molly came to visit me all the way from Brooklyn, to alleviate my loneliness once Elise left for the summer. Because we had each recently left our boyfriends and were nursing fresh wounds, her mother, who is wonderful, bankrolled a fantastic day and night at Snowbird for us, complete with lobster dinner and lovely bottle of wine at The Aerie, massages, and time spent on the rooftop pool. Where we laid sunbathing in bikinis and watching snowboarders carve out the last few bits of slush left on the mountain on the summer solstice.


Elise left to visit her dad in Colorado in mid-June, so I spent a good deal of the summer months playing single-gal, and trying to figure out what all of my single, child-less friends are talking about when they say they're "so busy..." It was incredibly lonely at first, but then I met this amazing woman named Karan at the dog park, who quickly became my newest, bestest friend.

Before meeting Karan, I spent a lot of time painting and decorating my new house. Picked this nice green and awesome and cheap IKEA curtains for the dining room. The big brown blog would be my dog, who spends hours staring out that window at the neighbor's cat, who sits in a window directly opposite.

Hiking up Millcreek with Karan and five dogs on a hot and sunny afternoon:

Free concerts at the Gallivan on Wednesday nights are still one of my favorite things about SLC. This year I skipped the Roots, but got to see Andrew Bird (pictured), De La Soul, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and my personal favorite, Neko Case (also pictured, albeit a crappy photo from my cell phone). Plus, the shows I missed I was able to listen to from the comfort of my backyard...

And, because Salt Lake is THE home of the free concert, I was also able to see one my new favorite bands, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, rock the canyon walls on a gorgeous evening up at Snowbird. For free. Oh yes.

Sunset over the western mountains of SLC, from an impromptu pool party my friend Richy took me to. Dogs played fetch in the pool, deliciousness cooked on the barbie, and I realized I wasn't lonely anymore.


August began with another trip home to St. Louis for my best friend Kelcey's wedding. Crazy fun whirlwind of a trip, wherein I got to see loads of people I miss like mad. Including Ariel, my best friend who lives in the UK, and Billy, sweet and silly Billy, one of my favorite friends in St. Louis.

Chelle & Billy reunion:

Elise and Ariel, gettin their Lou on at a Cardinal's baseball game:

At Kelcey & Matt's rehearsal dinner. Or, to be precise, at the cocktail party following the dinner. My bestest girlfriends in the entire world, my special tribe of women whose friendship has never waned in 15 years since we all met in high school. The handsome chap in the center is Matt, the groom.

And finally, Elise returns home after 8 weeks away and my life returns to normal. The minute we walked in the door from the airport she threw down her things and snuggled up with the dog, whom I'm pretty sure she missed more than me:



What a day! Fuzzy and buzzy and distracted most of the day and ended up losing (1) my access card for work on my lunch hour while running to catch the train (which I did not catch, to the amusement of a group of SLC workmen), and (2) my daughter (subsequently found, no worries). It was just that kind of day. I made two trips up to the 21st floor war rooms today and both times either forgot certain necessary files or brought the wrong ones altogether. And trips to the 21st floor are not trips I like to repeat, as the "priority service" elevator (total misnomer) takes forfuckingever and once you finally make it up you step out into the lobby, which is akin to stepping into the sweaty, hairy armpits of a giant hobo with raging body odor. You know this kind of body odor: the kind that lingers, that prickles your olfactory senses 5 stops past where the b.o. offender (b.o.o.) got off the train. And no matter how big of a breath I manage to draw in before stepping off that elevator, it's never quite enough to get me to the office doors, get them unlocked with the special key while balancing an unruly stack of files, and get safely to the other side. Where, strangely, it doesn't smell like b.o. at all. And then you wonder if the lobby really smells that bad. And then you finish your business in the war rooms and go back to the elevator in the lobby and realize yes, yes it is that bad. Its actually worse than you thought. Or maybe it just gets worse all the time. Perhaps it is a constantly evolving b.o., not unlike b.o. left untreated on human specimens. It's absolutely offensive. And the Utah Sports Commission and some other kind of place share the very-swanky office on the other half of the 21st floor, and thus use said b.o. lobby. And I really don't understand why they don't do something, except for maybe they just don't notice. (But how could they NOT notice?? Seriously.) I actually had a discussion one day with a guy who was waiting in the b.o. lobby with me for the "priority service" elevator (the whole situation is just a nightmare, really), and he asked what was wrong, presumably because I was burying my face in my sleeve.

"I just can't handle the smell in the lobby," I say.
"Oh," he says. "I guess I never noticed."
"Do you work here?" I ask.
"Yeah, for the Commission."
"And you NEVER noticed that it smells like b.o. right here?"
"B.O.? Really?" He's honestly surprised and thoughtful for a moment. "Hmm. Nope, I'm probably just immune."

At which point I realize I don't like this guy. Mainly because he started a conversation with me that required me to breathe the b.o. air rather than the Downy-freshness of my sleeve, and then just rubs it in further by being all nonchalant about this VILE, RANCID LOBBY OF DEATH. Like I'm the crazy one. No guy, maybe the acrid stench of this lobby has burned out all of the cells inside your nose, but I am NOT crazy. It could win "Stinkiest Lobby in the Entire World" contests. That's how damn stinky.

Anyway. So it was that kind of day. But I did get some new and fantastic bras from my neighbor, which was a total score. And - major development - I'm writing this from my home computer (old girl's still chugging along, if a big sluggish), after finally buying the wireless card and bribing the downstairs neighbor with a poster of Salt Lake from the '70's that I found at Sam Weller's (they're pretty cool, and only $5.00!) to come and do the hi-tech savvy stuff that I can never figure out. So now we're all up and running and I am able to really ramble (watchout!) as I look at my view of the Capitol all lit up at night just out the windows behind the monitor. Ahh. Life is nice and calm up here in my little computer room in the little city so far away from the life I used to know...